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Theorizing about conflict

In: Handbook of Defense Economics

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  • Hirshleifer, Jack

Abstract

The category of conflict encompasses not only war but also crime, litigation, strikes and lockouts, and redistributive politics. Exchange theory and conflict theory constitute two coequal branches of economic analysis, the first based upon contract and mutual gain, the second upon contest for asymmetric advantage. A number of the analytic options for modelling conflict are reviewed. Preferences, opportunities, and perceptions are shown to determine the choice between conflict and settlement. The technology of conflict as an economic activity is surveyed. Two illustrative models are presented, the first involving actual fighting and the other armed peace.

Suggested Citation

  • Hirshleifer, Jack, 1995. "Theorizing about conflict," Handbook of Defense Economics, in: Keith Hartley & Todd Sandler (ed.), Handbook of Defense Economics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 7, pages 165-189, Elsevier.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:hdechp:1-07
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